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$bill 01-02-2010 07:46 PM

Salvaging Old LME
I did some searching and the general consensus seems to be that LME becomes unusable after about six months or so.

I'm interested because I took a hiatus from brewing for about ten months, and I have a fair amount of money tied up in some old ingredients (specialty malts, LME, and hops).

What I want to know is, have any of you successfully salvaged old LME by combining it with fresh LME? If so, what did you do?

Thanks in advance

Pappers_ 01-02-2010 10:08 PM

Sorry I can't answer your question, i've never done it. But, if I were you, since you already have the ingredients, I'd go ahead and brew a batch and see how it turns out. You won't be out any additional money and it might turn out fine. I'd opt for either a darker, roastier beer or a more highly hopped beer, to kind of overshadow any off flavors from the extract.

Good luck!

endo 01-02-2010 10:28 PM

I bought some brewing equipment awhile back and there were a couple of kits included. The expiration was about 9 years previous. I went ahead and brewed them and am glad I did. I made a pretty good nut brown ale from the first, a pretty decent British ale from the second and now I am waiting for the other can to turn 9 years old so I can make a pale ale ;)

$bill 01-02-2010 11:29 PM

I'm figuring to use the ingredients... one of the containers of LME is a $50 can of Weyermann's Munich LME, and I only use small amounts, so I'm using it.

But I have about 3 lbs of a stout extract that was refrigerated for around 10 months, plus another 20 lbs or so of other LME that was in the garage. I don't want to turn out a bad batch, so I figure the best insurance is to use the older LME in small quantities along with some fresh LME.

I wasn't planning to make any pilseners or lagers with this... I'm thinking darker ales, that sort of thing. With lots of hops. Nothing delicate.

I'll be happy to report back when the beer is ready to drink, but if any others care to chime in with their experience, I'd be grateful.

BTW, what do you think about "reviving" old LME by adding it to a wort which includes a partial mash of some 2-row?

woodstone 01-03-2010 03:04 PM

Use it!

I routinely buy ingredients to make a batch or two then get busy or decide to brew something entirely different...ingredients, even hops and yeast, have sat for many months (sometimes, eek, years) before getting to them.

I do fridge or freeze EVERYTHING...and have had no issues (as far as you know) with the quality of my beer...the key (I think) is proper storage and reactivation of the yeast prior to use.

One man's humble opinion....

Good luck!

$bill 01-04-2010 04:35 AM

Had some milled two-row purchased back in late 2008, I would guess, that sat out in the garage inside a sealed container. I did a mini-mash with some of it in a french press coffee carafe last night, and compared it tonight with a mini-mash I did of some freshly purchased, freshly milled two-row.

It tastes the same.

mordantly 01-04-2010 04:37 AM

my old boss has 2 5 gallon pails of lme (~60# each) that has been in the fridge for 3 years. i told him it was shot. but is there any conclusive shelf-life? if it's sterile still, what can happen?

zman 01-04-2010 06:13 AM

I used #8 of 4 year old LME in a Porter. I scored some stuff off of Cl and one of the Items was a Williams Brew that was 4 years old. The porter turned out to be pretty good. I entered it into the HBT BJCP comp. I have to look up and see what the judges thought of it.

Handle 01-07-2010 02:11 PM

Some of your experiences are reassuring, as I picked up an old California Common kit that was included with a used starter kit I purchased recently. I don't know if it was refrigerated, and like the noob I am I haven't refrigerated it either.

Maybe I'll give it a shot and see what happens.

$bill 01-08-2010 04:43 AM

I brewed three batches tonight using lots of old ingredients: a Newcastle clone (BCS Nutcastle), a sweet stout, and an IPA. They should be drinkable in about a month; I'll try to remember to update the thread.

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